How to Know If You Need A Water Softener

Are you tired of white, chalky spots on your dishes and in your shower? Would you like softer skin and hair? Are you looking for a way to protect your home’s pipes, appliances, and fixtures? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could benefit from a water softener. 

Central Texas frequently makes lists for having some of the hardest water in the country. According to Austin Utilities, the average water hardness for Austin, TX is 16 grains per gallon. 

We strongly recommend investing in a water softener if the hardness of water in your home is greater than 7 grain per gallon, and almost every home in Austin falls into this category. Water softeners are an excellent way to protect your appliances, fixtures, and pipes from scaling and mineral buildup. However, you will find that there are many other benefits that come with soft water such as softener skin and hair, less scrubbing needed when cleaning, and you will use less soap and detergent as these products lather much better with soft water. 

How Does A Water Softener Work?

Before we can begin talking about the many benefits of a water softener, it will be helpful to understand how water softeners work. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium can build up in your pipes and appliances leading to scaling and clogs. They also leave an unpleasant residue or spots on many surfaces. In addition, they can build up in your hair causing it to feel dry and brittle. Hard water can also leave your clothes and skin feeling rough. 

Water softener systems remove the “hard” elements, like calcium and magnesium, from your home’s water. The water softener system is made up of two tanks – the brine tank and the softener tank. Hard water enters your home through a main line and goes directly into the softener tank. In this tank, the hard elements attach themselves to resin beads in the softener. This removes the hard elements from the water. The treated water then travels to the bottom of the tank and exits through the distributor tube and is used throughout your home. The water that exits the tank is “soft” and free of hard elements. The brine tank is only used a few times each week to clean the softener tank, and this is where you will refill the salt periodically. This process of using the brine solution to clean the softener tank is called the regeneration cycle. This is a very crucial step to help clean out the hard minerals that get removed in the softener tank. Without this step, the softener tank would quickly get clogged with all of the hard minerals it collects. Most water softeners can be programmed so that the regeneration cycle will take place automatically and during hours of low usage, such as at night or early in the morning. 

Now, let’s get into some of the many ways a water softener will benefit your home! 

Protect Your Home’s Pipes, Appliances, And Fixtures

Over time, the minerals in hard water build up in your appliances and your home’s pipes. This can lead to scaling, and in some cases can cause blockages. The blockages in pipes are costly to remove and you may find that you are replacing appliances and fixtures more frequently due to build up. Water softeners help your washing machine, water heater, dishwasher, and all water-based appliances run more efficiently as blockages put extra strain on these units and decrease lifespan. 

If you are worried about existing build up from hard water, don’t wait any longer to install a water softener. Softened water can help remove the minerals that have already built up. 

Say Goodbye To Hard Water Spots And Stains

The chalky white spots that form on your glassware, shower walls, and other surfaces are the most obvious sign of hard water. While the spots don’t cause any harm, they are not pleasant to look at and can make you feel like the surfaces aren’t truly clean. The hard water marks can also take some elbow grease to get off if they have been left too long. In the showers and bathtub, you may notice increased soap film on surfaces due to the soap combining with the hard water elements. If you have high iron content in your water, the stains might look, brown, reddish, or yellow. A water softener is the best remedy for removing all of these stains. It can even cut down on your cleaning time. 

Softer Skin And Hair 

Hard water is rough on your skin and hair. The same soap residue you see left behind on your shower walls can get left on your skin and hair. This can lead to dry, itchy skin and dry, dull hair. Soft water is more soothing to the skin and hair without the hard elements, and soaps and shampoos lather and rinse off better with soft water.

Soft water has even been proven to help those with eczema. The National Eczema Association has found that patients with eczema are even more sensitive to the effects of hard water than those with healthy skin. As we’ve stated, hard water leaves more soap and minerals on your skin which causes dryness and exacerbates eczema symptoms. 

More Benefits Of A Water Softener

We have covered some of the biggest benefits of water softeners, but there are many others as well. For example, you will use less soap with water softener, so you will save on products like laundry detergent, dish soap, and shampoo. You will also find that your clothing feels softer and is less likely to look faded and worn. Your drinking water will even taste better!

So, do you need a water softener? If you live in Austin, TX or the surrounding area, the short answer is yes! Stan’s plumbing specialists are experienced with installing and replacing new water softener systems, as well as repairing and maintaining those that are already installed. Contact Stan’s today for Austin water softener solutions that are guaranteed to benefit your home, your appliances, and your family’s health. 

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